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“Who, me?” — Nikola Jovic’s surprised response when he was asked to sub in

Nikola Jovic's response to having his name called was more memorable than his actual debut.
Miami Heat forward Nikola Jovic

Nikola Jovic

Miami Heat rookie Nikola Jovic saw his first NBA action on Wednesday night as the team took on the Portland Trail Blazers. Given his reaction to the call-up, he probably wasn't expecting to get some minutes in.

How was his debut?

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra turned to the Serb after starting center Bam Adebayo got into foul trouble with 7:30 still left in the first half.

The first big off the bench had usually been Dewayne Dedmon. But his performance has been dismal to start the season, and he registered two quick fouls in the first quarter.

Enter Jovic. Amusingly, though, the 6-foot-10 was immediately called for a foul on Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic, who has more than 60 pounds on him.

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Jovic put up his first official points a little after two minutes, thanks to his hustle on the boards.

Unfortunately, that was all he could muster through the night, as he finished the game with two points, two rebounds, and five fouls.

Will he be a rotation player moving forward?

The 19-year-old had been at the bottom of the depth chart for the Heat's first four games of the 2022-23 campaign. But on Wednesday, he got the call ahead of Dedmon even in the second half when Adebayo sat to rest.

Is it an indication that Jovic has moved ahead of the veteran in the rotation? That remains to be seen. But at this point in their careers, Jovic has more upside, especially considering the "damage" he did in Summer League.

It will be interesting to watch if he can continue to improve and give the coaching staff more reasons to put him on the floor.

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